Celebration of life and spirituality

2011-07-09 09:08

When thousands of people dig deep into their pockets, risk getting frost-bitten fingertips and “minced” hair, and happily stay up until 2am instead of getting into bed at 10pm, you are either Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela or Joyous Celebration.

Such is the massive pull of the choral gospel group that thousands of fans descended on the Grand Arena at GrandWest Casino – many turning their heads and muttering disapprovingly as they passed the throngs on the casino floor – to watch them in concert.

Joyous Celebration 15 was indeed a celebration of life and spirituality.

The arena, usually the venue of pop and rock concerts, was packed to the rafters on Saturday when the 31-member choral gospel choir took to the stage in frothy pink and strobe lights worthy of a rock concert.

And the reception was just as wild from the ­Capetonians, who had braved the freezing ­temperatures and rain to be part of the gathering.

The MTN VIP room was just on the right side and was full of suited and ­respectable types sipping on water and fizzy drinks.

Note to the organisers: Wine is not a bad thing, especially when people would have sweated it all out by the time they left the concert. I’m just saying.

This being an event for the people, I did not expect to do any celeb-spotting – and I wasn’t disappointed beacuse there weren’t any. At least, not in the pop culture sort of way.

The concert was a resounding success though, with people singing along and layers of clothing coming off as the singing and dancing reached a crescendo.

People kept calling for encores, which marginally contributed to the show coming to a close at 1.30am just like a real rock concert. Pity most of the audience had to get up for church in a few hours.

Maybe the trio – Lindelani Mkhize, Jabu Hlongwana and Mthunzi Namba – that heads Joyous Celebration might want to rethink the 8pm starting time. Again, I’m just saying.

Still, it was a whirlwind trip worth every bit of ache in my feet the next day.

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